Querido celebrates International Women’s Day and the powerful contributions of females all over the world! Our hotel owners have broken down barriers creating pathways for future generations. Today is a chance to recognize and honor their resilience and extraordinary successes by sharing their inspiring journeys.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN WITH PALAZZO AVINO KNOWN AS THE PINK PALACE OF THE AMALFI COAST?
Our dad wanted to create a special, unique place and always dreamed of having his own hotel. When he found this pink building in Ravello, he saw the potential and immediately fell in love with it! The rest is our history.
WHAT DOES “A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE AVINOS” LOOK LIKE?
Our day has much less of a view than you would think! Our offices do not have a sea view! A day at Palazzo Avino is a journey of many special moments and touches, from breakfast to lunch, sunbathing by the pool or at our beach club, and wrapping the day with one of the 100 different martinis at sunset.
THE HOTEL IS BREATHTAKING, BUT IF THERE IS ONE PART THAT WOULD BE YOUR FAVORITE, WHICH WOULD IT BE?
It is our inner courtyard. It looks like a Moroccan Riad, and there are moments during the day when the light is so special that it feels their diamonds reflecting in every corner. My second favorite is the solarium on the top floor, where you feel like touching the sky.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN WITH LILY OF THE VALLEY, AND WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?
Lily of the Valley is a family adventure. I’m the third generation of my family to spend summer on the beach in Gigaro. It’s the place in the world where I feel happiest. So when my father and I started thinking about a hotel project, we couldn’t imagine doing it anywhere other than in Gigaro. We purchased an old, sleepy hotel whose potential lay in its magnificent views of the Mediterranean. We gave Philippe Starck carte blanche when we asked him to build Lily of the Valley, although there were two things that we insisted on. We wanted the hotel to be invisible from the sea, like a hidden refuge, and to blend into its surroundings rather than imposing itself upon them. And we wanted it to be a place that feels alive throughout the year, because Lily of the Valley is open all year round, and Gigaro is a place where there is so much to discover, whatever the season.
DESCRIBE TO US WHAT A “DAY IN THE LIFE OF LUCIE” LOOKS LIKE.
I live in Paris, but I go to Gigaro practically every week. When I’m in Paris, I spend a lot of time in touch with the team from head office, and this helps me to focus on the future of Lily of the Valley. When I’m in Gigaro, I work with Stéphane Personeni, our amazing Hotel Manager, who’s in charge of looking after both our guests and our teams. I also work on projects with our partners and on the extensions we’ve added to the hotel. Since opening in 2019, we’ve added a beach club, eight pool suites in 2021, and a truly exceptional villa in 2023.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WELLNESS ACTIVITY?
It has to be sea wading. It’s such a great activity, any time of the year. In summer, you can do it at dawn and soak up the calm as if you were on your very own private beach. In winter, you can wear a wetsuit and gaze at the seabed and the crystal-clear water.
HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY BEGIN AT LAKE COMO’S GEM – GRAND HOTEL TREMEZZO?
I have grown up spending every summer of my life at the hotel since I was a baby, so my role goes beyond any official position can describe. The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is my home, and what I would like written on my business cards would be just ‘the hostess with the mostest’. I try to take care of everything at the hotel, from the tiniest details to the most important topics, being also very much ‘hands on’ with everything that is the priority of the moment. Everything started in 2010, the centenary year of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, promoting my little paradise around the world, which I have never stopped to do ever since, now supported by the most incredible Sales & Marketing team that is dear to me like family. Our aim every day is to spread the word about this super special place that we would like to be included in everybody’s travel wish list. The inspiration comes from my mother and my father, who taught me the love for what is beautiful since I was a child and the reverence for history and traditions. These values are deeply rooted in my soul.
WHAT DOES “A DAY IN THE LIFE OF VALENTINA DE SANTIS” LOOK LIKE?
I would say pretty hectic. I wake up early in the morning with my kids jumping on my bed, I take them to school singing vintage Italian songs in the car on the way. After this every day is different! It is mathematically impossible to get bored of it. Making everything possible to create unforgettable memories for our guests is the most amazing job I could dream of. And on top of that there is the fact that every day I have the opportunity to meet amazing people who share part of their life with me, everyone with a unique story to tell that enriches my own life. I am simply blessed!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PIECES AT GRAND HOTEL TREMEZZO AND PASSALACQUA?
It is like asking you which is my favorite child! Grand Hotel Tremezzo is by definition a Grand Hotel, from each point of view, and is where the roots of my family are and where I have grown up in the past (almost!) 40 years. Passalacqua is meant to be like your private home, and we created it really like if it was our own home, with the same love and passion.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WITH FORESTIS?
We have been working in this place for 9 years. It was obvious to us that something very big had to happen here. Therefore, we started a long research about hospitality and traditions – we rediscovered the celtic tree circle and created the concept of our hideaway around it. While creating FORESTIS we did not think about the guest, but just about ourselves. In this way, we gained a huge authenticity, which our guests highly appreciate.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON IN THE DOLOMITES?
Fall is definitely our favourite season. The colors change as it is a really mystic time. The human bodies prepare for winter and source a lot of energy in the Spa. This very cozy time, however, still offers a lot of possibilities for hiking and experiencing many South Tyrolean Traditions.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ITALIAN HOME-MADE
DISH AND DRINK?
Chanterelle risotto with fresh cranberries and the best drink is homemade elderflower sirup with plose water and some lemon juice and ice.